Revelatory: revealing something otherwise unknown | Fake: a thing that is not genuine; a forgery or sham
In this first series of MoRF case studies we reflect on the impact of so-called ‘fake news’ on a volunteer for a Covid-19 vaccine trial, explore the use of pseudo-patients in a landmark psychology study, discuss the work of an undercover fake psychic and investigate the use of the ‘fake’ in science communication.
Each case study features a new podcast by Professor Patricia Kingori, curated selections of archival material and new art works made by Al Hopwood.
Elisa Granato is a molecular microbiologist in the Departments of Zoology and Biochemistry at the University of Oxford. In April 2020 Elisa became the first volunteer in the UK to receive a trial vaccine for Covid-19. A few days later Elisa was shocked to find out that that she was at the centre of a fake news story that claimed she had died... More
The abstract artist Laura Martin was a pseudonym created by the psychologist David Rosenhan for an artist who was working undercover for him to expose how the 'sane' were being wrongly diagnosed as 'insane' in US psychiatric institutions in 1970. Despite the huge success of the study, the investigative journalist Susannah Cahalan has recently discovered a problem - it would appear that Rosenhan may have invented the majority of his undercover pseudo-patients - including the artist Laura Martin... More
Rose Mackenberg was a private investigator in 1920s America who was trained by the conjurer Harry Houdini to detect trickery used by fraudulent mediums. She became an expert magician and a master of disguise, revealing the 'victims' of her undercover stings in lurid, passionate and sensationalised tabloid newspaper articles... More
David Jones used ‘the fake’ with great effect in science communication. His speculative designs authored under the name Daedalus and his fake brand DREADCO, captured the public’s imagination and stimulated debate about the future of technology and communications. His most famous sculptures were his Perpetual Motion Machines that seemed on the surface to defy the laws of Physics by staying in constant motion without an energy source... More